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-   -   1100 Midnight Black Paint...finally? (http://www.xs11.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46849)

Todd TCE 08-25-2017 09:42 AM

1100 Midnight Black Paint...finally?
Just thought I'd post my "props" to the folks at Color Rite for helping me find the paint for my Midnights.

After searching high and low, and a couple of bad purchases, and even painting the tank on XV920 (same color) I noted that Color Rite will not only sell paint by number or title but mix to match.

For most you'll find the paint listed as New Yamaha Black. And I have a pint of that from them. We shot it in hopes of a match. It isn't. This is a very nice deep black but has none of the deeply embedded sparkle you'll find on the Midnight.

With a number of failed attempts I pulled the front fender off my 850 and sent it to Jenny at Color Rite. She agreed; it was not simply a black paint. And like others before her, and working with her, suggested it was a repaint. It's not. It's a very low miles 850. Not only does the fender sparkle but so too does the tank and Speedo houses etc. Of course that doesn't mean a lot...except that I have a low miles 1100 and both Viragos. All with the same "New Yamaha Black" paint. And all with the deeply embedded sparkles. Pretty sure I did not purchase four low miles bikes from four sellers who all repainted with the same color!

I've yet to get this sprayed out; first up will be the 1100 tank and then a re do on the 920 also. (its a nice real deep burgundy now, looks black at night tho~!)

If you're looking to paint one of these bikes check back with me shortly and I'll let you know how it works out. If I'm pleased I'll be happy to share the paint code info they generated with you.

BillyRok 09-02-2017 05:16 AM

Hey Todd - Good luck with the search, I hope Jenny finds the correct color for you. I have an '80 LG that could use a repaint if the correct color were to resurface so I'm interested in what you find. Maybe you'll discover that the original paint code was 867-5309 and was right under our noses the whole time!:D

Todd TCE 09-02-2017 08:22 AM

Thanks. We'll know in a day or two how it looks.

I'll have to check out that code number there and see what she, err, it looks like.:D

Todd TCE 09-17-2017 03:35 PM


Finally got the tank sprayed. Right now it shows a bit more sparkle in it than I'd like it too. The good thing there is that we have some other paint issues on it to deal with and now time to pull the fenders.

I spoke with ColorRite and Jenny on the mix. We figure we're going to take a bit of the original Yamaha Black and add that to the custom mix. As she says; bury it a bit more with the darker color, suggesting a 4:1 or maybe 3:1 depending on how it sprays out.

Overall the color is just about right tho. The sparkle has a gold tinge under the black. Just a bit more than we want. *Which I'm not surprised some given the 850 front fender was also a bit brighter than the tank on it or the others. The mix she ran was nearly spot on for what I sent her.

dpotter58 09-17-2017 04:13 PM

I have had several midnight special xs11s.

I have a new old stock midnight special tank in a Yamaha box. It still has the tape over the petcock holes, the gas cap hole and fuel gauge hole.

It is, and all of the midnights I have had are black. Black with no sparkle.
The 1979 special has "black gold" paint. It is black with a gold sparkle.

Todd TCE 09-17-2017 04:36 PM

That's interesting to hear.... Believe me I'm as surprised as anyone as to what we found. ColorRite was as well until they had the fender off the 850 in their hand- being certain it was simply new Yamaha Black which they said it would be.

I can't explain it unless you see it in the right light, but the 850, 1100 and both Viragos have this deeply embedded in the color here. We explored the black-gold and Jenny said she was certain it was not at all what she mixed for me as a match.

Wish I could show it in an image but no matter what I do to try it's just black unless my eyes are 2" from it in bright sunlight.

Be curious to hear from others as well!

DAVINCI 09-18-2017 04:15 AM

My 81 special also had the gold sparkles

DeanR 09-18-2017 07:37 AM

80 Special with red sparkles and 81 Special with gold sparkles here.

Todd TCE 09-18-2017 08:10 AM

So I'm NOT seeing things! lol

I suspected there would be some push back on this when I first posted it. And I confess I powder coated my headlamp bucket and gauge pods gloss black before I caught this.

Didn't really catch this until I looked (very) close on the 850 and found it. Knowing its originality I looked again. And again. Then went to the 1100 tank. Low and behold under the scratches of buffing for 30yrs it was there too!

I've chased it with to major paint suppliers here in PHX with no luck and two mc parts suppliers. None matched what is on these bikes. Yet. ColorRite confirmed the two Viragos show the same paint and of course I looked there also, yep they have it also if you look in the sun light and closely.

Ain't old bikes fun! lol

cajun31 09-19-2017 12:22 AM

I am the original owner of a 1980 Midnight special. There is no gold sparkle in the paint and never was any. I have researched the paint and colorite is the only company I found that actually mixes the original new Yamaha black. The secret to the paint job originally from Yamaha is that they sprayed the base then a coat of clear followed by more base then the final clear coat. I don't know what to tell you about the gold sparkle in your paint but from what I have seen it is not original to the midnight specials.

cajun31 09-19-2017 12:26 AM

Billy Rok
This is the right paint for the Midnight Specials. http://www.colorrite.com/product/yam...k-nyb-1833.cfm

Todd TCE 09-19-2017 07:30 AM

I wish I could off you a clear explanation Jim. That's what ColorRite told me too. And what I had purchased from them thinking it was correct. And what they stewed over when I send the 850 front fender to them.

(yes confident that the rest of the bike and all the parts on the 1100 were the same- this was simply the easy one to send them for a number of reasons)

Like I said above; it had them scratching their heads some too. Your bike may be pure "new yamaha black" but these are not. And apparently I'm not alone. And I have no doubt it was not re painted. Or that all four of my tanks on different bikes were mistakenly repainted the same color before I purchased them.

I'm apparently not alone with some comments from others. If you're in the Phoenix area by all means stop by. Some of it will be re painted (with the sparkles) shortly so you'll have to take my word on some of it as I'd not have invested this much time and money into all of it for the sake of a can of black paint..it would be completed by now. lol

Maybe some were sold this way while others were not. I won't begin to suggest I know why or how but I know what both I and Jenny (she's the paint expert not me) see and that's where it's headed for this repaint anyhow. *And both Virago tanks as they have it also.

dpotter58 09-19-2017 08:32 AM


Originally Posted by DAVINCI (Post 502986)
My 81 special also had the gold sparkles


Originally Posted by DeanR (Post 502988)
80 Special with red sparkles and 81 Special with gold sparkles here.

You may well have sparkles. What you see is what you have. No arguing that. I'm not really going to argue anything about these bikes since I have seen parts from different years on different bikes to know that Yamaha put some strange stuff out there. I know they made Midnight Viragaos but never saw one so I can't address them.

Neither of these two guys that replied to you is referencing a XS 1100 Midnight Special.

Of all the Midnights I have had, I had one that came from the original owner with 2k on the clock. It was immaculate. nothing had been freshened up. There was no glitter. None have had any glitter or sparkle to the paint.

If you want the glitter or sparkle, have at it. I'm sure it would look nice. I'd like to see the pictures when you are done.

Todd TCE 09-19-2017 12:00 PM

Trust me; I'm more intrigued (and somewhat frustrated!) than anything else. I'm just sharing what I'm finding

Of all the bikes the here's what I have/see now.

80-850 sparkles, 3300mi, all original, on the gage pods etc. This is the fender I sent to Jenny. Of all of them this one is clearly the brightest one. The others however have or had more scratches on them than this bike does so maybe why.

80-1100 sparkles were on the tank. Me; I messed up and painted the fenders "new yamaha black" without sparkles, and pc'd gloss black the gauge pods. Has about 11k on it. Can't go back to the tank any longer.

83-750 Virago, supposed to be NYB, has sparkles on the tank for sure. Taking it to the Scottsdale show this weekend if anyone is near by. And on the front fender for sure also. Has about 9700mi on it.

83-920 Virago, supposed to be NYB, HAD sparkles...we tried to match it locally with two paint shops. Has a beautiful color on it. A real deep burgundy. Wrong. lol So it's going to be re sprayed. (but yes it had them) Bike was rough when I got it...has only 5k but required a lot of clean up.

Now here's where it get odd....

80-650 XS no sparkles. Pretty sure of that too. Looked it over very well and I would say 'no'. Bike had 452mi on it when I got it. Original owner. (now has 550)

83-750 XJ Maxim. I don't think it ever had sparkles. Before the sparkle fiasco...we painted the tank (small ding) NYB and I never really looked that much. I need to look closer at the fenders.

83-50 The little RX of course. Never saw anything on this bike but plain old black. Painted it all NYB incl the fenders which were never painted anyhow.

All of these bikes by Yamaha info are supposed to be NYB. But nobody has the formulas from 40yrs ago. Only reproduction info such as ColorRite- who told me mixed that from a customer supplied part to match. Not from any original data.

Here's one image of the 850 tank I took an hour ago. It's about as good as it gets. If you didn't know you'd think it was just dust. It's not even visible from 6" away.


BillyRok 09-19-2017 08:35 PM

Just now seeing this update. I'm in SC now heading for the rally on Friday but I will look closely at my '80 LG when I get home and let you know what I find. Interesting though.

Todd TCE 09-22-2017 11:15 AM

Quick update.

If you follow Ebay there was an 1100 MK fender for sale. I bought it.

Hard to see given the volume of scratches in it but yep it has the faint sparkes in it.

Todd TCE 01-13-2018 12:12 PM

Been a while. My painter guy got kicked out of his shop and that played hell on this project...lol!

So we shot some of the new paint and it's nice. But it's simply got to much sparkle in it. I got on the phone with Jenny again and she's going to reduce the amount down to the bare minimum she can. Claiming that we'll push it deeper into the base color which is the desired effect. Another pint with the change coming in due time.

We're doing the 1100 tank and two fenders only. Leaving the gauge housings as they are in gloss black powder coat. Too much work there! And re spraying the 920 Virago at the same time. Fingers crossed I'm happy with the result.

I know there's debated on what is right or wrong, I'm ok with that. I was speaking with a well known shop owner/former racer etc who knows UJMs like the back of his hand....we were talking about colors and I asked him if he know about the black on the Mks and he was quick to point out the deeply embedded sparkles. To which I replied: "you do know!"

Anyone in the PHX area feel free to stop by and visit the Mk collection. The 50 is getting too much attention with it's now (custom) gold rims and ss spokes. And I'm slotting the front disc to match the big bikes also. It's a disease.....

Todd TCE 01-17-2018 02:03 PM

Can't really say enough good things about these people. If you need paint for your bike it's hard to beat their customer service.

Having reduced all of the speckled to a bare minimum they were good enough to supply me some extra should we care to richen it up.

Todd TCE 03-12-2018 08:51 AM

Been a while and I'm overdue for an update...so here it is.

All the black parts were taken to a shop in Tempe for the final work. We had a couple of all black (New Yamaha Black) items for the RX50 to do as well as the XS1100 and XV920 tank in the speckle black.

After the test spray below on the 920 tank it was determined that despite the best efforts by ColorRite we still had too much flake in it. The tank turned out exceptionally well however and it's pretty close to the finish of all the parts in the 850 in fact. *That bike does forever have a tad more speckle to it than the others do for some reason. Maybe it was the first try by Yamaha?

The final chosen result was to do a 1:1 mix of the special order speckle black with the NYB paint and let it fly. The move was a bit bold as I thought we might well bury the gold specs too deeply into the finish. It didn't; the paint shop nailed it! The tank and two fenders are now once again back to their original color here. I could not be happier with both ColorRite and Automotive Collision Services for their work. Pricing on the labor was very reasonable and I never pressured them on time but it was only a matter of a week or so.

Up next: I've sent the pipes and bars to to be re chromed; a chore in that it required a custom crate just to get it there. Hopefully they'll turn out well and we can begin final assembly in due time.


*As a fun side note I mentioned the RX50 which was and still is a Midnight edition but today I've taken a few liberties to make it match the other bikes. See what you can spot as non original but correct to the others.


mack 06-14-2018 07:25 PM

I did my
LH a few years back and put a purple flake in the paint on the tank, fenders and side covers. It looks jet black in the shade but has a subtle glitter in the sun. Frame, motor, calipers, swing arm etc. were a high gloss black with four clear coats baked on. Produced a very deep rich colour. It's a big chick magnet when I park it during rest stops. Got a lot of phone numbers from short rides for a coffee and just sitting in the parking lot having a rest. I call her Spica after the primary star in the Virgo constellation. She only had 5 k miles on her when I rescued her from being scrapped. I just couldn't let that happen. She was number 178 coming off the line in 1980. Part of the restore used to be on here. Type in spica restore in the search engine. They might still be available. Really want to see how your pipes turn out. I went with ceramic. Very nice job so far!!!!!!

Todd TCE 06-14-2018 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by mack (Post 507445)
LH a few years back and put a purple flake in the paint on the tank, fenders and side covers. It looks jet black in the shade but has a subtle glitter in the sun. Frame, motor, calipers, swing arm etc. were a high gloss black with four clear coats baked on. Produced a very deep rich colour. It's a big chick magnet when I park it during rest stops. Got a lot of phone numbers from short rides for a coffee and just sitting in the parking lot having a rest. I call her Spica after the primary star in the Virgo constellation. She only had 5 k miles on her when I rescued her from being scrapped. I just couldn't let that happen. She was number 178 coming off the line in 1980. Part of the restore used to be on here. Type in spica restore in the search engine. They might still be available. Really want to see how your pipes turn out. I went with ceramic. Very nice job so far!!!!!!

Sounds like a cool color. Always fun to see things differently when you look at it night and day.

The pipes are back and on now. Been a few weeks. I'll try to get some images and a review on them this weekend. Also new as shown on the (over built...) RX50

mack 06-14-2018 08:01 PM

it's a curse. I won't ride anything I haven't taken apart and restored. My life is worth more than a rattle can. besides, you learn the bike by tearing them down. That way you never get stuck on the side of the road in deliverance country. again, great job!

Todd TCE 06-14-2018 08:07 PM

Yeah...my only problem is sometimes I learn I shouldn't have taken it apart....:D

Todd TCE 06-17-2018 12:34 PM

So the chrome......black. Turned out pretty well. It's not as thick as the factory and seems to scratch easier. Also flash points where the coverage is off. Overall the results are acceptable. There was a ton of metal work on the muffler cones and they look far better.

I'll put up a couple pix on the FB page loading images here is too much of a pita.

xs11lover 09-25-2018 01:35 PM


That sure looks like 79 special black to me!
I was just reading your thread and thought i’d drop my two cents in..take it or leave it. I thought and it’s what I’ve seen on the original paint specials I’ve owned ;
79 11 specials were black with gold metal flake, I had 2
80 11 specials were black with red metal flake, I had 2
81 11 specials were black with blue metal flake, I had one but it had red metal flake and 1980 logos so I just figured it was switched.
80 midnights were just black paint with black chrome on the fenders, gauges, exhaust, foot brake and shifter. I had 2 of those also. One 11 and one 850.
I never saw an 81 midnight in person so I can’t say anything about that other than maybe they used the gold metal flake like the 79 special had again on the 81 midnights to save money and got rid of the black chrome?
It seems with every model year from 78 standard, 79 special forward I saw a thing or two each year done to save a buc or two.

Personally the red metal flake black was my favorite!

Todd TCE 09-25-2018 01:52 PM

Good info, thank you.

I've come to the conclusion that there may really be no firm data on any of this. Others have said they are certain their Midnights are pure black while some have said they found the speckles in the paint as I have.

Interestingly the amount and color of the speckle varies by bike a bit also. The 850 used as the original sample has far more and thus our diluting it on the 1100 application where it was simply to evident. *That image above your reference is the 850 fender. On the 1100 if you didn't know it was there you'd never find it. But...for us who have it, have seen it or know about it- it was clearly there in the production of quite a few machines. FWIW I'd swear the Virgo has a bit of red flake in it like what you mentioned.

At the end of it all...I'm content that it's as original as we could get it and bases on sound look-see of other parts before it was all re done. *your mileage may vary

xs11lover 09-25-2018 02:15 PM

Yes! Iíve noticed more or less red flake in a few....guess they were Monday and Friday bikes. Lol. Sorry I missed the whole second page....looks nice. Leave it to me to be as relevant as a video rental store in the age of Netflix!

xs11lover 09-26-2018 06:51 PM

Here is a nice little video of the Xs11 models and colors. Seems to be spot on as far as black gold, black red, black blue, ect. Even tho Oleís 79 XS1100 sf painted the same pearl orange as my old bobber was substituted as carmine red. Lol. I think thatís pretty great, his bikes are so good they are mistaken for original Yamaha jewels!

madmax-im 10-07-2018 06:23 AM

Cool..I have seen this video before..Theres one pic of my XJ in there..my bike..how awesome! from 3:47 -3:53 :cool::cool::cool:

xs11lover 10-07-2018 07:21 AM

Wow! That is cool. It makes me smile when I see 3 of the top 20 XS1100 bobbers on Pinterest are mine.....but they are all old. Guess itís been a while since I did anything of value. Lol

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